(Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
Paper Short Abstract:
This paper deals with the spread of farming as a major episode of diffusion using a case-study in Southeast Europe.
Paper long abstract:
Archaeology provides the opportunity to study major shifts in Human history. One such shift is the so-called 'Agricultural Revolution' or Neolithization, characterized in fact by two distinct sets of processes: the development of farming and herding practices in several centres of the Near and Middle East, and the subsequent introduction of these practices to other regions, including Europe.
This paper focuses on the spread of the Neolithic to Southeast Europe, giving particular reference to the relationship between Western Turkey and Greece in the mid-7th Millennium BC. What strikes in this case-study is the seemingly instantaneous adoption of farming in the two regions with little or no resistance and limited adaptation.
Contrarily to the models of acculturation and adoption-'reinvention' usually discussed in anthropology, the main driving force for the Neolithization of Greece seems to be 'Demic' diffusion, that is to say migrations of people from Anatolia and the Near East carrying with them the full Neolithic package (architecture, subsistence strategies, ceramic technology, figurines, etc.). It is argued that this geographical 're-location' of culture is somewhat unique.
Diffusion: a reappraisal of the concept